The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, hopes to harness the global power of the internet to stop the extradition to the United States of a British student who is facing ten years in prison for alleged copyright infringement.
Richard O'Dwyer, 24, from Sheffield, faces extradition for creating the website TVShack.com, which allowed users to access complete television shows and movies that were hosted elsewhere online.
In a petition launched on the campaigning website Change.org yesterday, Mr Wales said Mr O'Dwyer was the "human face of the battle between the content industry and the interests of the general public".
He is calling for Britain to block the extradition on the grounds that Mr O'Dwyer "is not a US citizen, he's lived in the UK all his life, his site was not hosted there, and most of his users were not from the US".
"America is trying to prosecute a UK citizen for an alleged crime which took place on UK soil," he added.